September 20, 2013

Five years on...

My sister passed away five years ago today.  I wrote this maybe a month or two later after I could muster up the energy to do so.  It's crazy how life has changed so much in five years.  I originally posted this to Myspace.  Not a life-shattering example, but you get the drift. 

I'm really happy that I wrote this because it's a real time capsule for myself to look back at those dark days to see where my mind was at.  I remember knowing pretty early on that I had to stop asking questions or it would drive me mad.  Life happens in not the best ways sometimes, and we can only learn by growing with those moments.  You cannot suffer the unknown.  

I miss my sister's physical presence.  I miss her voice.  But it is more important to know that she is always here because we are blood and we had 30 years of life together and she is permanently recorded in my mind.  There is nothing more infinite than that.

I love you Suzanne.  

Every morning I wake up to the constant realization that will plague the rest of my life:  I’ve lost my sister Suzanne and I’m not getting her back.  The emptiness that accompanies this sentiment is hard to grasp, because simply put, there is nothing there.  You know you will never be able to hold her hand, and you’ll never be able to hug her and kiss her on the cheek.  It’s a rotten felling to have because you know that you shouldn’t even be writing this because you should have been an old man and your sister should have been an old lady and it would have been a natural passing.  It’d still be sad, but you’d be okay because you’d be gone in a couple years too, and it’d be a wholly natural thing.  You’ve lived your life, you’ve done your thing, and now you’ve passed away.  But that isn’t how it is.  I’m going to live the rest of my days missing my sister who fought hard and probably lived longer than she should have with stage four lung cancer.  She leaves a husband.  She leaves a daughter.  She leaves parents, a brother, and a sister.  She leaves loving family and friends, two dogs, and a cat.  She’s left a world of suffering that she did not deserve and a bad hand shuffled back into the deck.  It was before her time, but time due for what she was going through.

What does it mean to lose a sister?  It’s a question that is answerable and unanswerable all at once.  A feeling that is felt, but also not transmittable to those outside of yourself.  It’s more than a sense of loss and more like something was stolen from inside of me, something not physical, but something that has been there since the day I was born and should have been there on the day I die.  This thing wasn’t fully formed, still growing with every moment.  When I was a kid, it was prevalent in my every day.  I just didn’t know it.  In my teenage years and early twenties, this thing revolved around that same world I did, just in opposite directions, being around just as much as I was, which wasn’t a whole lot.  But after moving 3,000 miles away from Connecticut, with every passing year, with every day I grew older, this thing inside could truly be acknowledged, and maybe even understood a bit more.  This thing inside of all of us is the greater importance of family, the connections and relationship you have with those who have always been there.  When a part of this is taken away, squashed from our psyche, there is a matchless loneliness that sits in its place and pervades almost every moment of our every day.  Even in a room crowded with family or friends, there sits an empty space and the density of the air feels less.  Staying at her home for two weeks during this whole ordeal, every time I entered a new room I looked for her.  Strangely enough, being back in my apartment in Reno, a place she’s never been, I do the same.  Where is Suzanne?  Where is my sister?  All I find every place I go are the places she should be.

She should be…

But she is not, and I don’t know when my brain is going to fully accept that.  Right now I’m at battle with reality.  And guilt.  And the “whys” and “what ifs.”   And the last week of her life in the hospital.  What I said.  What I didn’t.  It’s all there, swirling round and round on the daily-go-round, even in my most distracted moments.  When I wake.  And when I sleep.  I have no doubt in the validity of the phrase “time heals,” and I don’t mind waiting because all of these feelings, no matter how mixed up, confused, and upsetting; they are my sister, and I have no doubt that with time they will turn into her greatest attribute: strength.   

In the past year, there were conversations we never had.  Conversations I wish we had.  They didn’t not happen out of dishonesty, but because my sister was protective, not just in a proud way, but because she did not want people worrying about her.  Trust me, we worried plenty, and we were scared shitless, but talking to my sister was talking to my sister and I don’t think she wanted it any other way.  The cancer was on our tongues, but so were other things.  We talked about what was going on, and jokes, and memories, and parents, and life.  I wish we could have had many other conversations.  I wish we could have many more.  No matter how much I could let out at her bedside at the hospital, there’s always more to say.  I have an infinite amount of words for my sister, and where once they were heard, I no longer know what they really are.  My belief system doesn’t know what to make of where she is and this is the first time I’ve really been confronted with this.  Confronting the known unknown.  In the back of my mind I’d been waiting for the phone call that would have me on the next flight to Connecticut.  The longer she lived, the further off I could  push that phone call away, and the further off I could push the notion of death.  Then you find yourself in the hospital sitting next to your sister, holding her hand, wanting so badly for her to be able to come home, if only for a short period of time.  I don’t know how I could sit there and think about time in such an ultimate form, with an end in sight, but I did, and all I wanted was for my sister to have a few more days with her whole family, eyes open, breathing, talking, and maybe a laugh or two if she could muster it (and believe me, I bet she could).  Then as the days moved forward and she did not, I only wanted some time with her off sedation, but I knew in my heart that it wouldn’t happen and I became fearful that my sister would pass into the night, alone.  

It’s hard for me to look back on these moments and put myself back into it.  How could I not sit there and wish my sister to only live more than forever.  In the midst of her suffering you have to be as rational as possible and only want what is best.  Upon arriving to the hospital on Saturday the 20th of September, it was time to let nature take its course.  Suzanne was tired.  She let us know it when her husband whispered into her ear and a tear came rolling down her face.  She knew what hour had arrived, and let us know it by fighting through yet another trial with her strength.  Her body was giving out, but she gave us a true and knowing response.  Throughout the week I wasn’t sure how much she could really understand us under sedation.  As much as we all could, we’d sit by her side and tell her stories, describe pictures from photo albums, read emails people sent to the hospital, tell her how we love her and we’d keep her safe, and she even got one last friendly Kratky family argument (politics of course), but I was never clear that she heard us.  She would open her wonderful green eyes once in a while, but it wasn’t until that tear that I really knew that she could take her surroundings in.  She truly blessed us with it, and I believe she fought hard for us all to be there.  When my sister passed away, she was surrounded by family, all of us holding on to her, all of us telling her we love her.

It’s this moment that I wanted most for her in the end that haunts me more than anything.  It’s all you could do sometimes.  Be there.  It’s all you can do sometimes.  Be powerless.

Standing in the cemetery the day before I left to go back to Reno, I felt uncertainty inside myself.  I stood before where she laid, but still, I looked out across the grass and through the trees searching for Suzanne.  I will always search for her; in the windows of every home, in the slow passing nights, across Nevada’s desert terrain, and every time I look to the sky.  I know that after time I’ll eventually find her, and I’ll have to look no further than myself.  No further than my sister Rachel, and my parents, John and Maryann.  I’ll have to search as far as my cousin and Suzanne’s best friend Melissa, her husband Chris, and of course, her daughter Cyndy with whom we all have a new role.  Not as surrogates in a capacity we could never fill, but to embody the true essence of family and support.  Then I’ll look up to the stars at night and know that my sister fills the empty space in between, holding them together with all her strength.  In time, that empty spot inside all who loved her will fill with realization and learning from her life and her death.  The world has already become a different place for me.  Never again will it hold the poetry of fresh eyes, because I am old now, and unwilling to venture backwards.

Suzanne, all I can do now is make you a promise:

When the loneliness settles in, and the empty chambers of my heart ache, I will think on our childhood.  I will remember your smile and hear your laugh.

When the sky grows dark, and the “whys” and “what ifs” settle in, I will remember our phone calls and the times spent staying in your home over the last few years.

When the tears swell in my eyes and my stomach grows uneasy, I will fondly think back, and thank you for all you have given me.  Things that have shaped me, that may forever go undiscovered, but they are there and they are me, and I thank you.

Sis, you will never be forgotten, only known more and more. If I could I’d write you into existence again, but I know you’re in a place greater than words.  I love you so very much.  We all love you so very much.  

September 5, 2013

No Philosophy, Part 5

As I write this, Americans are in the middle of a debate on whether or not the central government should drop bombs on a civilization that is thousands of miles away so that fractions of the terrorist group that it claims to have been fighting for the last twelve years can gain control of the aforementioned civilization’s government.  Got that?

When this is the debate in a supposed advanced culture, something has gone awry.  When this scenario played out just ten years ago in Iraq, and the outcome was the destruction of a people and we have learned nothing from that, something has gone amiss.  When murdering people is proposed as a path to peace, you know that the world you live in has been depleted of good philosophy.

This cry for war is not about protecting people, it is fully about strategy for attacking Iran and closing in on Russia and China.  It is about paychecks being passed from the weapons industry to the elitists in government.  It is about creating new mythology.  It is about upholding control and writing news laws in which to control with.  It is about getting minds off of the awful economy, and into a state of fear and nationalism.  It is about World War III, whether you want to think that or not.

The world is on an awful path and we have got to change before it is too late.  Each of us individually has got to stop this lack of imagination that feeds this monster into gaining control over everything.  This is your future and it is tied down by the weight of an unforgiving organization filled with sociopathic liars, murderers, and thieves.  This is your life, and you’ve got to take of the fucking chains.


How I Learned to Hate Slavery

Slavery is a big, ugly word with the weight of history attached to it, and I promise you, I do not use it lightly.  When I say that we are stuck in a state of slavery, I’m talking mentally.  I don’t compare this to the physical and mental enslavement that was happening in America for too long and which continued long after the Civil war within the prison system.  I don’t compare it to the brutal and demoralizing modern slavery within the sex trade that exists right now the world over.  The enslavement of the human race is one of submission of the self to an unjustified authority.  The slavery we live is a hopeless seduction of myths and legends that are schooled into us from a young age.  You will believe that a powerful federal government must exist to protect us.  You will believe that rights come from that organization through documentation that was signed by a few men.  You will believe that society as we know it would fall apart without the social contract, a non-existent document that nobody has signed or seen yet somehow is said to mold our economy and social structure.  You will believe that it is a feasible set-up for a few hundred men and women to control millions, and in some cases billions.  You will believe that the ruling class and the elites are something that exists outside of government, and is not actually government itself.

The one area where our mental captivity is darker than the physical slavery is that most of us don’t know it is happening.  Slaves held in physical captivity against their will knew that they were slaves.  They knew that somebody owned them and that they were held through force and violence.  Our captivity is just part of life.  It is what it is.  We live in a world where prosperity is judged by the level of taxation a government levies.  Some think a little more is good for everyone, some think a little less is good for everyone, but not enough realize that zero taxation of income is ideal.  Wealth is judged by how much material stuff is in your living room, not by your ability to earn, save, and create a safety net for yourself and your family.  Safety is having strangers listen to your phone calls, read your emails, frisk your body, and police your streets.  Freedom is spread throughout the world by the bullet.  In an unfree society, leaders have been replaced by rulers, not people to emulate, but messiahs to worship.  We not only have the task of taking our lives back, but we also have to take our language back.

I don’t think I will ever talk a single person into understanding the philosophy of liberty.  I will never argue anybody into taking the path of the individual and leaving collectivism behind.  Maybe I can introduce an idea or two here and there, but liberty is just too personal a path.  You have to not only accept and understand ugly truths about the world, but you have to accept them about yourself and your past.  That’s the real hurdle.  Letting go of and changing ideas that have been secure in your own mind for so long is a sometimes drudging experience and will last a lifetime.  It’s a battle that has you at odds constantly with what you have been told since you were young.  There are of course small fights that are easy to win, which for myself was understanding the abusive public school structure, and then there are tougher fights.  The biggest battle for me was wrapping my head around how a free world will work without the coercive, monopolistic system of government shaping it.  Most times though, this is only due to a basic lack of imagination.  There are so many solutions to every problem, not just the one we are lad to believe in.  Imagine the world being able to open up to those options once the central government is dissolved.  Progress is not as difficult as we think, you just have to get the one thing that forces us into the past out of the way.

All I can promise is that once you mentally tear yourself out of the world of total government, you will not only see life in a new way, but you will feel much more optimistic.  Your life will no longer be filled with the slog of politics and scandals.  Most answers to the issues of the day will be easily understandable once force is taken out of the equation.  You can move on to philosophy, the market, and freedom within your own existence.  Once the monopoly no longer has a hold over you, maybe then you can take those first steps into a future that wasn’t supposed to be.  That’s the first sign that the individual is winning.  Taking over your own life.

The individual can only free him or herself.  Your mind is yours.  You own it.  It belongs to you.  You must start using it.
Are all of these ideas utopian?  Sure, but even just the ideas that come with liberty, freedom, and peace are better than the reality of being a slave.

August 29, 2013

No Philosophy, Part 4

What happens in 2106?  What happens after we are tormented through the most expensive advertising campaign in history?  What happens when we have another Clinton or Bush sitting on the throne?  What happens when another generation puts all their hopes and needs into one man or woman, yet again, and the democratic system completely fails yet again?

Absolutely nothing happens.  We go on, split down the middle, having the same arguments while war and corporatism reign supreme over our lives.  We go on with our public schooled minds thinking something different is happening when in reality, it is the same damn thing.  The advertisers and sycophants will try to maintain the illusion, and mostly it will work.  People will believe that their representative, their president, their team is doing the best possible job, and when they force others to abide by their law, there is nothing wrong with that because they just want the best for everyone.

Life, for another four years, will not progress.  We will just wait for that next opportunity to herd into boxes and vote within the monopolistic system of the state.  And we will do this again and again, hopelessly in wait for the one true master who will finally change everything.  And we will do this forever while our neighbors die in debt or in war.  Instead of being the rock between the gears, we will continue to be the oil.



“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!” - Mario Savio

I love this quote.  I’ve heard this quote so many times in my life and every single time I do it retains deep meaning, but it is the meaning of a different time.  1964 was almost fifty years ago and life has greatly changed.  We can no longer throw ourselves on the gears and wheels because we are the machinery that runs the damn thing.  We are the automatons that march into booths and vote for the teams we’ve been programmed to root for.  Speaking from my own experience, most times we don’t put much weight behind our own team’s belief system, they are just part of the package, and they make sense as long as you stay within that world.  Finding our own truth suffers.

America has become a country of two ways that are really only one because they both expand the monster we call government with only insignificant details being different.  While that monster grows and grows we get more and more lost in the fray until our own individual autonomy is torn completely away.  Progress is not boxing yourself into a system without choices.  Progress is not government monopoly.  Progress is not democracy.  Democracy is just another system of collectivism and control that lets a small majority get away with taking liberty from a minority.  It is authoritarian.  It is the mob.  It should be done away with.

In 2008 I voted for Barack Obama, a man whom like all politicians, I knew little to nothing about.  We don’t know these people, but we get wrapped up in their policies, and their speeches, and their plans.  We like them because they present themselves as part of the do-something crowd and not the do-nothings.  They stand before cheering fans, who wave flags of worship in all their unquestioning, screaming, orgasmic glory.  And we want to be part of that, the promise of the bright future to be brought about by a great man.  Like me, I suspect that these people have no philosophy and their opinions and ideas have been marketed to them.  But underneath, I know there is something festering, something waiting to break.  Their individualism is just beneath the surface waiting to escape the forever hammering down bludgeon of the state.

I don’t know Obama.  I don’t know McCain.  I don’t know Clinton, Romney, Bush, or any of the others, and certainly these names will be meaningless to me in another decade or so unless one of their brethren decides to get elected as their right to the royal chair in the oval office no matter how worthless a human being they are.  Even though the awful policies of the aforementioned politicians will still effect the future, the statist stooges in the media will forever try to maintain the image of their captains, and only blame those who currently hold power (or the market) even if they have only been there for a few months.  Point in case, when Obamacare really takes hold, you can be assured the free market will take the blame once all the awful policies make our lives worse off, and then the new president will just have to do something.  Often times, the something they do is not what they promised and against their supposed political ideology, but it’s okay because they didn’t do nothing.  That is the gist of life in America.  That’s how we got Obamacare in the first place.

Somehow, even with all the baggage, these people on our TV screens become the answer, the way to a more fruitful American life, even though years after they leave office the government they supposedly changed is still indistinguishable from anything concerning Republican ideology or Democrat ideology.  It’s just government.  It’s a creature of habit, consumption, and ultimately destruction.  But we still believe them, those who wield a mighty pen that can change the rules of the world we live in.  Those who can create rights out of thin air.  These people that have the power to imagine up wars and then make them possible.  They have the might to keep us safe, if safe means keeping us in danger to assure that we need them to keep us safe.  They have the wisdom to do what is right and only what is best for us, if by “us” it is meant even just a minority of those that voted for them.

I have no problem admitting that I had a corrupted mind.  I believed that these men we elect president were more than just words.  I had no understanding of what this gangster organization we call government was.  I’d almost be thankful for the election of Barack Obama as it taught me a most important lesson, but I can’t be thankful because of all the suffering and death that are the result of electing yet another president.  These fools stand on their stage and give the world a circus while awful decisions are made behind closed doors, and all of us who choose to be on teams protect this imagery from breaking down and showing truth.  We never want that curtain to open behind our man on the stage because it will only show a body count.  We lie to ourselves.  We lie to our family and friends.  We lie because they lie and all their people lie, and the deceit becomes so thick that we can’t pull ourselves out, it just pulls us under so deep that the struggle to be free almost isn’t worth it.  It hurts.  The allegiance to our abusive idolatry cannot be broken.

When I finally realized that the crimes of the Bush administration were still happening, my protective instincts of the man I voted into power finally began to wane.  When I saw that all the agitation against corporatism and the wars was numbed by a people who thought that their votes had changed life in America, I finally began to understand that the president is only a mouthpiece for something deeper and uglier.  His words and image are only there to protect empire.  He exists for the audience to believe the opposite of reality is actually happening.  Truth is treason.  War is peace.  Tyranny is freedom.

Our beliefs are deep.  Even after disappointment, we go out every four years and do it again without ever realizing the scam.  I almost don’t understand how people can continue to do this all their life, but then I realize I did it again, one last time.  Throughout the four years of the Obama administration I started to read many libertarian and anarchist authors.  I began listening to podcasts.  I started reading the days news on their websites.  Eventually I saw that we really have been indoctrinated to live in a world that is not based in critical thinking.  I was waking up, slowly, and I can pinpoint my foray into this world being guided by Ron Paul, who for me was the final politician.

While I again began to put my faith into one individual, I felt it was different this time.  This person had a philosophy with the voting record in Congress to prove it.  He had ideas way outside of the mainstream and wasn’t afraid to say them, even in the face of total opposition.  He spoke a word that I never previously understood and only saw as a political tool.  When Ron Paul spoke of liberty, he meant it in it’s most true form.

Though I changed my Independent status as a voter and became a Republican for a 6 month time period in order to attend all of the Nevada Republican conventions to get Ron Paul the nomination, it was at this same time my ideas and understanding of life were becoming more and more firmly rooted in anarchy.  Quite the paradox.  Even as I was cheering during the last convention at the fact that we had elected almost all Ron Paul delegates to go to the Republican National Convention, I wasn’t even sure anymore if I’d be voting for a president.  Of course that decision was made pretty easy for me in the end when Paul didn’t receive the nomination.  Even though there was a ton of RNC corruption involved, he still never had the numbers.  I sometimes wonder whether I would have voted for a Ron Paul president if it were possible.  I hope not, if only because that decision would have brought me back into the statist game.  I am endlessly thankful though, because the path to liberty is the eventual path to anarchy, and this Texas politician was a huge influence.

All that doesn’t matter anymore though.  I’ve separated myself from that world of democracy.  I have no connection with any pre-packaged ideology, politician, or political system of control.  I don’t know what the answers are.  I take every issue one at a time, and sometimes my thinking on them goes in a direction that may be considered left, or may be considered right, but all-in-all I look for the most free answers that don’t bring aggression into the mix.

I have no interest in being one of the wheels or gears of the state.  In regards to the machine, I have stopped myself and chosen to opt out in any way possible.  It has to end somewhere.  It may be a slow process, but one at a time, we’ve got to stop paying attention to them and start living with autonomy.  The absolute best way forward, the absolute best way to shut it down, the absolute best way to dissolve the central government is to simply stop.

July 25, 2013

The good thing...

The good thing about having a blog that doesn't really get read is that you don't have to worry about not updating.  The No Philosophy series will continue in a few weeks with parts 4 & 5.  Until then....silence.

July 18, 2013

No Philosophy, Part 3

Did you get what you wanted?  If you did, is it okay that a not much smaller segment didn’t?  Is it okay that many smaller fragments didn’t get what they wanted either?  How about that a large segment opted out entirely, and that with or without with these minorities, there was a majority opposition to the group that got what they wanted.  Is that okay?  What exactly is it that you did get when the previous four years of it weren’t actually what you wanted?  From where I’m standing it doesn’t look all that different, but a lot of people have convinced themselves that it is.

Statism is an almost religious way of thinking.  It is built on faith, and anybody critical of it is dismissed outright.  Statism is the conviction of opposites where an entity can get away with saying one thing, doing another, and people believing that the thing which was said is true, even with all the evidence against it.  It’s a system of belief where two different groups involved in it’s mechanics can take something definite like crony capitalism and mold it to be either socialism or free-market economics.  For good or for bad.

Whether the thought pattern is war is peace, taxation is charity, or security is freedom, the most hardened belief of the statist is that they have control of the people that actually control them.



During the first presidential election in which I had the chance to vote, I had the good sense not to vote for Bush or Gore, but then that just means I supported the campaign for a different person to rule over me, Ralph Nader.  My memory is vague as to why I voted for Nader, maybe during the little attention I paid I heard a blurb or two from him that I liked, but overall I know it had something to do with him not being in the debates and I thought that was wrong.  I believe that I had heard if he got enough votes, third parties would be allowed to debate.  Of course this was all at a time before I knew that Republicans and Democrats owned the debates and made all the rules.  This was also a time where I hardly understood what the differences between the two parties were (coming full-circle now, I actually see no difference).  I remember friends at the time trying to convince me that I was a Democrat and that if I voted for Nader, it was really a vote for Bush.  I’m sure you’ve heard that scam put out there many times in your life, that if you vote outside of one main party, it’s a vote for the other.  That is total propagandist framing of reality.  I’m sure a think tank came up with that one during the early nineties when Ross Perot scared the shit out of the establishment.  If you vote for someone in a third party, that is exactly who your vote is going to.  That’s all there is to it because when a Bush or a Romney or a Gore or Obama wins, the differences are in presentation only.  When an Obama sounds like a more peaceful and just man, it’s only because he’s a better liar than an outright violent monster like Dick Cheney.  They are one and the same, and more importantly, so is the government they are the figureheads over.  It doesn’t change, and of course there is no proof that much else would change if one of these third party characters got elected.

Back to the story of my first vote where my friends were trying to convince me I was a Democrat, the only thing I knew about Gore was that his wife pushed for music censorship in the eighties.  Why would any young person from my era involve themselves with that kind of racket?  So I voted for Ralph Nader during the first election in which the almighty federal government granted me the right to choose my new ruler.  Bush was then elected, and like most people, for a few months I forgot that the president existed.  If you aren’t a news junky, who wouldn’t forget?  When you replace a left-wing authoritarian government with a right-wing authoritarian government, you still have authoritarian government.

But then the World Trade Center fell, and like just about everyone who didn’t pay attention to the world and how America was involved in it, I was completely shocked, and then quite conveniently fell into a nationalistic stupor.  Yes, I had a flag on my car for a long time after.  This silly symbol of the state that I smartly ignored in high school during the Pledge of Allegiance(the name is even offensive) was with me at all times.  I didn’t understand why it happened or what “we” Americans had done wrong.  I didn’t know what Al-Qaeda was and being from Monroe, Connecticut, I hardly knew what a Muslim was.  I was too young and naive to understand that “we” had not done anything, and this attack was not against “us”.  It was all about the central government.  It was a criminal act of aggression against them.  It was blowback for things that they had done.  Individuals were paying the price with their lives for the violent acts of the collective.  I bought the Afghanistan police action that came afterward, but thankfully that’s where it ended for me.

So it was 9/11 when I started paying attention to the world around me.  A definite change was coming over my life.  The world wasn’t just my friends or my home.  It wasn’t just partying or working for a paycheck.  There was a lot of other stuff out there, I wasn’t always sure what, but this terrorist act happened right next door to me, slapped me hard in the face, and told me to wake the fuck up.  It wasn’t just on TV like the Gulf War or the L.A. Riots for example.  New York was a place I spent countless weekends with my friends.  It was where I took my first film class.  In many ways, it was a place that I became an adult.  I started taking the train there by myself at sixteen and it was an exhilarating feeling of independence.  New York City was where I wanted to live.  I’m not even sure I realized it at the time, but after 9/11, I organized my life a bit, moved out west the next year, and didn’t actually return to that city for years after.  Sometimes when I read now about the city New York has turned into, with their militaristic police and statist laws, I really do feel like the world lost more than just two buildings that day, the world lost a great city.

Through this act of violence, I started paying attention to the everything around me, enough that I sometimes wonder who I would be without that horrific event happening.  Change comes in strange ways.  I started watching State of the Union addresses, the news, listening to talk radio, and I used the internet for more than just online chat and reading about movies.  I started to realize that the government actually does something, nothing good, but something, and back then I felt doing something is always better than doing nothing.  After the federal government got involved in another police action, this time with Iraq, I knew that I now had to do something myself because this Bush character had to go.

So what did I do?  What was my big move?  In the next election I voted for the Democratic candidate, John Kerry.  Why?  Because his name wasn’t George Bush and he had more of a chance than one of those third party candidates.  Why, if he was elected, he would have ended those wars and thrown out the Patriot Act.  We wouldn’t be living under the surveillance state that we do now.  Police wouldn’t be militarized!  We would have a stable economy!  The world would be so different!

I’ll tell you what, right after I walked out of that voting booth, I felt sick to my stomach.  I knew I had just done something cheap.  Something I didn’t believe in.  I had no idea who John Kerry really was, but I voted for him and in the end, whether he won or not, it would mean nothing.  I promised myself that during the next election I would be a doubleplusgood citizen and pay extra close attention and pick the candidate I really believed in.

There’s a problem with that though, isn’t there?  All that doubleplusgood citizenry usually ends up meaning is receiving information from terrible sources.  You’ve most likely picked a side and are going to be watching MSNBC or Fox News, both meaningless gestures, just as much so if you watch CNN.  The media loves and protects the state.  All information they give you is bunk, backed by lies, and told with the split-tongues of lobbyists, think tanks, and garbage-mouthed wordsmiths who speak in fallacies and twist history and current events to the benefit of their team.  Of course the team is ultimately the same, a massive government whose tentacles wrap themselves around every aspect of life possible.

I’m not sure what got me, but the presentation of Barack Obama was a winning one.  I was still under the impression that we only needed a Democrat in the White House for a huge change.  He was young black man who played basketball to Bush’s old white guy who played golf.  His name was Muslim to Bush’s Christian.  He also spoke with clarity and seemed to have foresight compared to Bush’s marble-mouthed idiocy.  For a person who had forgotten what politician’s were and ached for some difference in the imperialist ventures of America throughout the world, it was good enough for me.  Of course, Barack Obama was bullshit from top to bottom. And as I would soon learn, though not soon enough, the presidency was as well.